Prague’s Mariánské náměstí Knows its New Look

Studio Xtopix presented its vision on the new Mariánské náměstí.  This new view is not only a product of the studio vision but also of that by participating citizens, who have shared their hopes and dreams on what the final look of the square will be like.

In their opinion, the square should not only be a leisure epicentre but also a cultural stage. The project also includes the reconstruction of Franz Kafka square and its surrounding streets. Works should start in the year 2022.

Involving citizens in the design of public spaces

The Prague City Hall and the City and National Library are some of the institutions which are located on Mariánské náměstí. Given the important significance of the location, the Prague Institute of Planning and Development chose to organize a competition, which was won by Xtopix studio.

The new design of the square should be able to provide a pedestrian zone which will have two maple trees. Public furniture, such as benches and tables will not be absent either. Nor will be water fountains which will provide refreshment even in the hottest of the summer days.

The square surroundings will naturally undergo a very much needed modernization as well. These include Platnářká street, which will have its sidewalks alongside the Klementinum widened in order to be used as extra exhibition space for the National Galery; the Kaprova square, on which new lines of trees will be planted; and the Franz Kafka square.

All of these adjustments were mainly aimed to increase the comfort of pedestrians and cyclists. The new design will not prohibit the necessary movement of cars. The whole design is such that it should be able to contain the essence of Mariánské náměstí Square and its rich history.

The project was introduced between 9 and 12 September at a workshop in the Central Library, itself located on the square. Citizens were able to examine the miniature model of the project and get information about the history of the square. Studio Xtopix then held an exhibition of the project on 10 September.

And if the project completion seems distant still, Prague residents and visitors have a treat coming their way much sooner. At the end of September, as part of European Mobility Week, a temporary transformation of the square is slated to happen.

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